What are the most effective ways to promote your business and build a strong brand?
Sabrina Stocker, Founder of Two Comma PR took to the stage for the second day of Elite Business on 11 March in the Commercial Business Growth talk, speaking about publicity and PR – and why a good marketing strategy is fundamental to growing your business.
Sabrina began her talk by speaking about why publicity can make or break your brand, saying: “Without publicity, a terrible thing happens. Nothing! You can have the most incredible business in the world, you can have the most incredible team structure and most amazing coach out there. But if nobody knows who you are, then you’re not making so many moves. So, if you want to make an impact, that’s where you really have to think about digital PR and marketing.”
What exactly is PR? Public relations is how the public perceives you as an individual or an organisation, and the practice of disseminating information to affect or alter public perception. In simple terms, Sabrina explained: “PR is what someone says when you’re not in the room. This just isn’t about you, it’s about your team, your business, and your brand. So, what does everyone else think about you, and how do they bring this together to generate more leads, more trust and more credibility?”
Having a solid PR strategy can help your business gain more exposure. If you or your organisation is featured in magazines, newspapers or if you get invited to prestigious events, this inevitably helps build your brand’s credibility. Sabrina explained: “Way before The Apprentice, I was speaking on stages, I was winning awards, I was the face of Virgin Active. PR has always been part of my brand, though I never realised it. But what can it do for you and your business? Imagine getting featured in Forbes and gaining 350,000 views. Or being asked to speak on massive stages in front of your ideal audience. Being invited to red carpets, or being invited to speak at Google. And also, a little tip, PR is the biggest reason to get you verified on social media.”
Glitz and glam aside, how can PR help grow your business and inevitably, bring you more sales and allow you to generate success? Sabrina explained how she built her brand by finding a gap in the market, creating a demand for a service, and was able to gain exposure through lots of press. Sabrina spoke about the importance of having credibility, visibility and authority as a brand, therefore, allowing others to have ‘trust’ in your business. Sabrina explained: “The biggest number one keynote I’d like you to take away from today is trust. How important is trust within your business? Trust is the absolute essence of elevating your brand from one to two levels. If we look at this in a pyramid way, trust comes from three different areas. Your authority, credibility and visibility. Without all three of these different areas, you’re not going to be able to have that elevated level of trust. This goes beyond PR. This goes into your business, your executives and your customers.”
Before pitching your business to journalists and other media outlets, you have to step back and think about one very important key point – your brand. It is important to understand what your brand is and what makes you stand out from the crowd. Sabrina explained: “What exactly is your story behind your brand? Why is somebody going to love you? And how exactly is that going to be able to help that third party and bring it forward to the next level? Everyone is always looking for a story. What’s going to make yours different and unique?”
When it comes to cultivating your brand, it is essential to ask yourself some key questions. Why would your story be important to others? How does your story relate to people? What makes your business different? It’s not enough to have a generic brand. You need to think about that ‘it’ factor that separates you from other businesses in your industry. Sabrina added: “If you spend your time pitching to investors, journalists, contributors, why should somebody believe in you? What’s going to risk mitigating them wanting to put you out there? What have you done of importance that is going to push your level to the next? And a lot of that is about personal branding, which is about being able to move you and the story about the business.”